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MXP Image

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Posted by Nveid   (6 posts)  [Biography] bio
Date Sat 12 Jun 2004 04:18 AM (UTC)
Message
Is there any possibility that image will be supported in a future implementation of MUSHClient's support of the MXP protocol? As in, actually displaying images?
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Posted by Nick Gammon   Australia  (21,322 posts)  [Biography] bio   Forum Administrator
Date Reply #1 on Sun 13 Jun 2004 04:22 AM (UTC)
Message
I suppose it is possible. MUSHclient is supposed to be a text-based MUD client, and as such, supporting images is a bit off-topic for it.

I have never really agreed with the idea of having inline graphics for a text MUD, it seems to me that whoever invents it really wants a graphical MUD and are trying to slip graphics in "by the back door" so-to-speak.

- Nick Gammon

www.gammon.com.au, www.mushclient.com
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Posted by David Haley   USA  (3,881 posts)  [Biography] bio
Date Reply #2 on Sun 13 Jun 2004 08:30 AM (UTC)
Message
Personally I've always thought that if used correctly, images could add that extra touch. Not true pictures, but rather little icons e.g. to tell apart weapon types (sword vs. blunt vs. bow etc.)

Also, I'm not sure what's wrong with enhancing the traditional telnet experience. After all, that's what MXP is all about, and MUSHclient is also meant to make it all more enjoyable.

In any case I don't think it's a major issue but it would be nice to have around. Not if it means sacrificing a lot of speed, however. :)

David Haley aka Ksilyan
Head Programmer,
Legends of the Darkstone

http://david.the-haleys.org
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Posted by Eos   USA  (52 posts)  [Biography] bio
Date Reply #3 on Sun 13 Jun 2004 09:12 AM (UTC)

Amended on Sun 13 Jun 2004 09:22 AM (UTC) by Eos

Message
Wanting a 100% graphical MUD, and wanting to be able to simple things like a humanly tolerable non-ascii tileset for an overland map are pretty drastic differences.

Some MUD concepts just work better as images instead of text, and the more clients that support this fact, the better MUDs are as a whole.

Even adding your own character portrait (like a forum avatar) is a nice understated usage of images that in no way diminshes the fact you're playing a MUD.

I hate ZMUD passionately, bug fact is, it's the only client right now that can show my MUDs overland maps in their nicest format.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to cram 115 different terrain types into combinations of ANSI colors and symbols? Even with Mushclients HTML color it leaves the player trying to figure out of if they're looking at jungle green, forest green (and does that symbol mean confierous forest or deciduous forest?), plain green, swamp green, and on and on and on.

The more complex a MUD gets, the more limited ASCII alone gets. Adding Pop-Up menu's and HTML color can only do so much to help that.

To me MXP images make more sense than MSP ever did. At least images are still viewed, as opposed to suddenly making the MUD audible. People mudding via JAWS might disagree with me on this, but I doubt they appreciate sound effects interrupting JAWS any way.
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Posted by Shadowfyr   USA  (1,783 posts)  [Biography] bio
Date Reply #4 on Sun 13 Jun 2004 09:44 PM (UTC)
Message
Yeah, such a complex map system is a real good example. However, I also considered what happens with certain complex puzzles. Most puzzles end up being a sort of "find item A, insert in tab B, which opens C, where you find item D, which needs to be...." Can anyone say "Yuck!". After the 43rd time of doing one of these puzzles, especially when you can't tell what the proper syntax is in some cases, it just gets redundant. The only attempt I have seen that 'sort-of' worked involved discs you had to rotate to spell out a word. And that only just barely worked.

Point is, that an image is often not merely worth a thousand words, sometimes those thousand words can't describe what is going on effectively at all, so puzzle designers tend to resort to the same old formula. It is nearly impossible with pure text to do anything else. At least not without it collapsing into an insane guessing game. If they don't make you play "guess the word", then they end up basically handing the answer to you instead. With a picture, you can 'see' if the item is supposed to be twisted, turned, pulled, pushed or whatever. Text just can't manage that without giving the whole game away.
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Posted by Nick Gammon   Australia  (21,322 posts)  [Biography] bio   Forum Administrator
Date Reply #5 on Mon 14 Jun 2004 02:34 AM (UTC)
Message
MUSHclient's support of the img tag lets you click on an image and have it opened in your web browser, a program designed to support showing images. Thus, your maps can still be viewable, and you can Alt+Tab back and forwards to see the map when you want to.

Maybe with the new windows that I am currently adding into MUSHclient there could be support for showing images in them.

- Nick Gammon

www.gammon.com.au, www.mushclient.com
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Posted by Flannel   USA  (1,230 posts)  [Biography] bio
Date Reply #6 on Mon 14 Jun 2004 04:05 AM (UTC)
Message
Well, youre already going to have a background image. So, in certain cases that "background" could be the main purpose of the window. Or used, with text overtop, or whatever other permutations.

~Flannel

Messiah of Rose
Eternity's Trials.

Clones are people two.
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Posted by Eos   USA  (52 posts)  [Biography] bio
Date Reply #7 on Mon 14 Jun 2004 05:12 AM (UTC)
Message
Mushclients support for the image tag lets me do squat.

THIS is what an overland map looks like via zmud:

http://www.auricmud.com/images/terrain/twilight-map.html

Updating and changing everytimg a player moves, to show where they are in the map, and others around them.

Row upon row upon row of "click me" does nothing of any use and is simply not comparable.

The only way MUSHclient as is, would be able to do anything is if the MUD output a temporary composite link for the player to the MUDs website, showing an entire map if they clicked on it, and frankly it's not worth the bother or the time it would take both for the MUD to create such an image, or for the player to go through the hassle of loading it. The point over overland is to cover large areas quickly not to have to continually pause and refer to a webpage to figure out where you are.

This subject has been beaten to death for over a year now.

Requiring a secondary application to view something that's IN the MUD is useless. It requires the player to turn their attention away from the client if they want to see what they're being shown. It's not a realistic solution. It's not a useful solution. It's not how the feature was meant to be implemented. Please stop treating it like it has any useful value, or is any way comparable to what it's really supposed to be. It's not even apples and oranges. It's apples and asparagus, and I've heard every excuse you've used and don't really want to hear them again in this thread.

I paid for Mushclient. I encouraged many many others to pay for mushclient. My entire staff uses mushclient. We would like for it to actually support MXP the way it's supposed to, so we're not forced to migrate to the eye-sore that is ZMUD. Bottom line. I want for myself, and for my players, the client that will give them the best, richest MUDding experience.

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Posted by Meerclar   USA  (733 posts)  [Biography] bio
Date Reply #8 on Mon 14 Jun 2004 06:08 AM (UTC)
Message
Speaking as a longtime and very oldschool mudder, what you've done no longer looks like a mud Eos. I understand that what YOU want is full MXP compliance in a client and quite frankly, Nick never claimed full compliance. MXP was created BY Zugg, FOR zMUD. As a courtesy to the rest of the mudding world he released the specs as open source. This in NO WAY mandates every other client support EVERY feature of the protocol. To be perfectly honest, I think you've been rude as fucking hell in coming here demanding Nick implement something specificly to support YOUR mud. There are ways you can accomodate even the most rudimentry client support of MXP if you do the codework to support the features you want.

Meerclar - Lord of Cats
Coder, Builder, and Tormenter of Mortals
Stormbringer: Rebirth
storm-bringer.org:4500
www.storm-bringer.org
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Posted by Flannel   USA  (1,230 posts)  [Biography] bio
Date Reply #9 on Mon 14 Jun 2004 06:29 AM (UTC)
Message
Ok, ok, Nicks extra windows ARENT another application. Theye other windows that will show an image as a background. Im sure something can be worked out to display a map just like that one IN one of those windows. They WILL be a part of the MC program, just a seperate window. You can read about them...
http://www.gammon.com.au/forum/?bbsubject_id=4286

~Flannel

Messiah of Rose
Eternity's Trials.

Clones are people two.
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Posted by Eos   USA  (52 posts)  [Biography] bio
Date Reply #10 on Mon 14 Jun 2004 06:54 AM (UTC)
Message
This discussion has been going on for over a year. Nearly three years. In fact:

"Posted by Nick Gammon Australia (6,206 posts)Date Fri 27 Jun 2003 03:16 PM
Message
I am actually working on the display routines right now, with a view to fixing up some other problems - one being the inability for a script to access the contents of a line that is "omit from output".

I will bear these comments in mind, but at present it is a text client with custom-written output routine, it isn't a simple task to "plug in" a Rich Text control. In any case, they are quite slow.
"

I assure you my MUD is every inch a MUD, and having one feature that looks better graphical than ascii does not change the more than 300 full text areas in it, or the textual aspects of this feature. It's called an enhancement.

At no point have I demanded anything. I've stated facts. The fact is what Nick has for image support, is not useful to me in any way shape or form, and is no different from sending the link to them in the first place. Mushclient has had "go to url" for years, and being able to send clickable ones is really not much of an improvement.

A person asked for this to be added in.
I provided a list of reasons why someone would want this feature, based on my own experience.
Nick as usual leapt forth to proclaim it unneccesary and explain how very useful his own version of it was.
I clarified WHY Nick's implementation was not useful for the purposes I listed.

Rude I was, and am, because I'm sick to death of beating this dead horse since day 1 of MXP being added to mushclient. Three years of seeing the samr argument is bound to make anyone begin to twitch.

As for Flannel, The client windows were not what was being discussed. Nicks: "MUSHclient's support of the img tag lets you click on an image and have it opened in your web browser, a program designed to support showing images. Thus, your maps can still be viewable, and you can Alt+Tab back and forwards to see the map when you want to." is what I was referring to, and it was a very clear 'maybe' following that line about what those new windows will and won't do.

If anyone else feels like sharing their highly enlightened opinion of me, do so via the email address in my bio, not in the forum. The thread should at least try to remain on topic.

Personally since it's come up quite so often, I think Nick should consider a poll of some sort to see what percentage of his userbase really want this feature the fully inline way or at least give some announcement that resolves it one way or another for people. A simple "yes it will be added eventually" or "no, this is a feature I will never support" so that people who can't live without it know to move on.
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Posted by Nick Gammon   Australia  (21,322 posts)  [Biography] bio   Forum Administrator
Date Reply #11 on Mon 14 Jun 2004 07:01 AM (UTC)
Message
Quote:

THIS is what an overland map looks like via zmud:

http://www.auricmud.com/images/terrain/twilight-map.html

...

Requiring a secondary application to view something that's IN the MUD is useless. It requires the player to turn their attention away from the client if they want to see what they're being shown.


Looking at that screenshot I can't see the text of the MUD output, the chats, the inventory, the room description or anything. It just looks like a secondary "image" screen.

I'm not a big user of zMUD, for obvious reasons, perhaps it is easier to use that map than is obvious from what you have shown, but it seems to me that it must be in a separate window that you turn your attention to when you want to.

Perhaps I should emphasise on the MUSHclient web page that it is a *text-based* MUD client? In any case, the whole idea of shareware is you download the program, and if you like it you pay for it. You may also request bug fixes or make reasonable suggestions for enhancements.

However, I think the idea of making a text-based client into a graphical client is possibly outside the bounds of "reasonable".

Quote:

In another thread, Nveid wrote:

Thought i'd add to the fact that pueblo is broke in terms of handling fixed & proportional fonts.

...

Oh & Nick if you see this, think it's possible to enhance MUSHClient's pueblo capabilities? Like, possibly tables & other things with it.


You have to ask yourself, if inline graphics, HTML tables, proportional fonts etc. are so wonderful, how come Pueblo seems to be pretty dead? It is no longer being actively maintained as far as I can see, and I don't know of many servers that attempt to require its use.

Perhaps the idea of trying to combine graphics with a text-based MUD is fundamentally flawed? If not, then Pueblo should have been a great success and all the other clients dwindled into well-deserved oblivion? However that doesn't seem to have happened.

- Nick Gammon

www.gammon.com.au, www.mushclient.com
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Posted by Nick Gammon   Australia  (21,322 posts)  [Biography] bio   Forum Administrator
Date Reply #12 on Mon 14 Jun 2004 07:11 AM (UTC)

Amended on Mon 14 Jun 2004 07:12 AM (UTC) by Nick Gammon

Message
Quote:

A simple "yes it will be added eventually" or "no, this is a feature I will never support" so that people who can't live without it know to move on.


To support inline graphics would be such a major change that I cannot see it being done without a great deal of work, and even then I still can't envisage how it would work properly.


  • Say you move around the map, does the image change? So if you scroll back, do you see the earlier maps before the move or where you are now?

  • Do I support GIF, PNG, JPG, BMP, TIF or what else?

  • Do graphics get downloaded on demand? From a HTTP proxy server if necessary?

  • What happens if you select some text with inline images and do a "copy"? Do they end up on the clipboard?

  • What if the image is too wide for your screen? Does it get resized?

  • Do we have horizontal scroll bars?

  • What happens if I get a "bad" GIF image (eg. bad compression)?

  • What happens if the image isn't where the link says it is?

  • What happens if the image requires 32-bit colour and you have 256 colours (8-bit colour)?

  • Do the images get cached? If so, where? What happens if the disk is full?



You can see that it isn't a question if "just adding inline images".

To answer your question, MUSHclient is a text-based client, and I do not envisage supporting inline images in the future.

Perhaps when it is rewritten to support Unix, Mac etc.

Maybe.

- Nick Gammon

www.gammon.com.au, www.mushclient.com
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Posted by Flannel   USA  (1,230 posts)  [Biography] bio
Date Reply #13 on Mon 14 Jun 2004 07:14 AM (UTC)
Message
It just occured to me, since what you have is a bunch of square pictures, the easiest way to support pictures would be to have each line be the same height as the text, this way nicks scroll routines and such would still work. Since thats a large problem is the spacing of a large picture and lines and buffers and crap.

However, it THEN occured to me that since were just making the pictures be the same height as whatever font, you COULD use a special font for "images", for a terrain, it would be easy to make a charset with a "letter" for each terrain. This would be sent from the mud with color, and that would work mighty fine. Without any changes to the bloat of MC.

That is really what this is all about. Nick custom built the output routine, like he said in that post, and he cant "just" add support for pictures without going over a large portion of it, if not all.
Yes, this discussion has been going on and off for however long, but in the past weve deemed it really not nessisariry, and used in such moderation that it wouldnt be worth the bloat and lag.

~Flannel

Messiah of Rose
Eternity's Trials.

Clones are people two.
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Posted by Eos   USA  (52 posts)  [Biography] bio
Date Reply #14 on Mon 14 Jun 2004 07:46 AM (UTC)
Message
I begin to suspect some of you have no clue what overland mapping is, and that is half the reason you're not getting what I'm saying, So here is a webpage explaining in the hopes it helps:

http://www.auricmud.com/Sample/overland.html

As can be seen, with image support, comes out much nicer.
Also, as visible, still text based, just has visual references for those who can't mentally orient themselves based on text.
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